People from across the Diocese have received a certificate from Bishop Martin, marking the completion of a course designed to help them relate their Christian faith to their own life and locality.
The groups took the Bishop’s Certificate course over 12 months with the support of local tutors. It covered subjects such as Christian faith and the Creeds, the Old and New Testaments, Pentecost and the Holy Spirit, discipleship and living as Christians with people of other faiths. 26 people completed the course with 19 coming to Worcester to receive their certificate from Bishop Martin.
Bishop Martin spoke to all those who had completed the course, saying: “The wonderful thing about scripture is how God’s story and the stories of people thousands of years ago can come alive for us today. Thank you for choosing to do this certificate, taking the plunge to go deeper into your faith and become a disciple, which means ‘learner’. You are where God has called you to be and to serve, so be ambassadors for Christ wherever you are! However, don’t feel receiving this certificate is the end – what might be the next stage on your journey? Is God calling you to do something more?”
Angela Hayden is a member of St Mary’s Church in Kidderminster and took the course with a group in Cradley Heath. She said: “It was a joy to share the course with other people, everyone brought something different. I have been a member of St Mary’s Church for over 20 years and am exploring whether I might have a vocation to ministry. This was suggested to me as a foundation course, and it was great to learn from others’ experiences and hear their opinions. I’m now hoping that God will show me where he wants me to be!”
Jim Berrow is a member of St Martin in the Cornmarket and was part of the group doing the course in Malvern. He said: “It was very stimulating, I looked forward to my Tuesday evenings! My wife had taken the course previously and enjoyed it so suggested that I should do it too. It set the bible in context and gave me a much deeper understanding. The tutors’ knowledge was excellent, and it was a very welcoming group of people. I would commend the course to anyone who wants to know a bit more beyond confirmation.”
Sue Cousins is a member of St John’s Church in Kidderminster and was part of the group in Worcester. She said: “It was enlightening and eye opening and an excellent preliminary study of the bible. We had a fabulous group and I have made new friends through it. Everyone had different perspectives on each topic from their own life experiences. It was particularly interesting to look at parts of the Old Testament that I’d not explored before and understand how this is the foundation of our religion and referenced by so much of the New Testament. I’ve now gone on to start training to become a Licensed Lay Minister.”
Robert Holdsworth attends St Stephen’s Church in Worcester and, along with his wife Julia, was part of the group which met in Worcester. He said: “It was good to do the course together as well as meet with other people with a variety of views. One of the great things about church is that it brings together people with different backgrounds and life experiences. I’m really glad I took the course. It definitely furthered my knowledge and I’m now exploring where else it might take me and looking forward to seeing which door will open next!”
Congratulations to all those who received their Bishop’s Certificate.
If you are interested in completing the course, you can find out more here.